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Norway says goodbye to FM radio

A general view of Stortinget, the Norwegian parliament in Oslo
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A general view of Stortinget, the Norwegian parliament in Oslo

The government of Norway has announced a move to take FM radio totally digital and will complete the switch-off in 2017. (Tweet this)

In a press release last week, the Norwegian government said that the criteria for the technology shift have been met. The argument is that digitization can offer the space for 42 channels as opposed to the current five national channels on the FM system.

In addition, the cost of transmission through the FM network is eight times higher and will lead to savings of more than 200 million NOK each year, according to the statement.

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"Radio digitisation will open the door to a far greater range of radio channels, benefiting listeners across the country," said Minister of Culture Thorhild Widvey. "Listeners will have access to more diverse and pluralistic radio content, and enjoy better sound quality and new functionality."

The government set out a list of criteria to be met before the transition. Going digital must be affordable and available for radio reception in cars and at least half of all radio listeners must have already been listening to a digital radio station daily.